Key informant interviews were conducted in four locations: Brisbane and Emerald, in Queensland, Dora Creek, in New South Wales, and Benalla, in Victoria. The authors find that understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder varied considerably between research participants. Insurance representatives felt their concerns about increasing flood risk costs were unheeded until the 2010–2011 floods made them the “canary in the coal mine”.
Councils felt they had limited options for reducing flood risk. SES representatives felt they were too relied upon for event response, with requests for assistance outstripping their capacity to assist, and many residents were uncertain how to prepare for flood, relying on emergency agencies and the local council to protect them.
Key lessons for flood risk management in Australia are (a) an urgent need for all stakeholders to better understand each others’ roles and responsibilities; and (b) residents must take greater responsibility for their own personal protection. Only then can the vision of shared responsibility presented by the 2009 National Strategy for Disaster Resilience be achieved.
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